Ohio. Ohio. Ohio.
October 22, 2004 8:35 PM   Subscribe

Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots.
posted by Skygazer (94 comments total)

 
I'm thinking they'll be wearing brown shirts and armbands.

How sad, and disgusting is it that one political party is going to be at polling places specifically looking to disenfranchise voters, while another will be doing the exact opposite?
posted by amberglow at 8:50 PM on October 22, 2004


Mr. Trakas, the Republican co-chairman in Cuyahoga County, said the recruits would be equipped with lists of voters who the party suspects are not county residents or otherwise qualified to vote.

If any are ex-felons, say, or from another county, and it's ascertained that they're not eligible to vote, how does that qualify as "disenfranchising", amberglow? (A nazi reference with the very first comment. Nice).
posted by dhoyt at 8:56 PM on October 22, 2004


Since when is it the GOP's responsibility to ascertain if someone is eligible to vote or to stop people from voting? (I know the answer to that: when they're afraid they're going to lose, so have to use intimidation and threats to suppress the vote.)

We have election officials for a reason, and courts too. This is no different from the roadblocks the GOP set up in FL in 2000. If they were truly concerned about illegitimate votes, they'd have more people in ALL counties, not poor and minority ones (which usually vote for Democrats).

Are they paying you to be an apologist for this shit? Amazing.
posted by amberglow at 9:02 PM on October 22, 2004


Do you really think, amberglow, that democrats would be "enfranchising" all these people if these people were going to vote Republican?

As you've made your little disenfranchisement speech eight billion fucking times, I wonder if you truly believe that the democrats are motivated by altruism, or if (deep down) you realize that each party is merely acting in its own self-interest.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:03 PM on October 22, 2004


What bothers me most about all of these efforts to get poll watchers is that I'm reading just as many stories about places lacking in poll workers. GA, CA, TX, NY, etc.

Then again, I think I'd be more comfortable having a senile lady on leave from the old age home handling my ballot then some extremist who would take the day off work for the sheer pleasure of harassing people.
posted by 10sball at 9:04 PM on October 22, 2004


But dhoyt, how are these Republican challengers going to be able to tell that the voters they're seeing are ex-felons or from another county?

They're just going to be there to further muck up the already pathetic and worthless American electoral system.
posted by cmonkey at 9:05 PM on October 22, 2004


there's a divide between those who value humanity and those who value money. it's really that simple.
posted by quonsar at 9:10 PM on October 22, 2004


As you've made your little disenfranchisement speech eight billion fucking times, I wonder if you truly believe that the democrats are motivated by altruism, or if (deep down) you realize that each party is merely acting in its own self-interest.
When you guys stop pulling this shit, i'll shut up. I'm thinking that won't be until the people thinking up this deeply unAmerican shit are in jail.

Guess what? It should be in ALL parties' interests to have voters casting votes--it's kinda obvious, no? More people vote for Democrats. Most of America thinks we're on the wrong track with the current administration. You guys should actually try to WIN votes instead of trying to SUPPRESS them. Your desperation and flop sweat is showing, and it's not pretty.
posted by amberglow at 9:12 PM on October 22, 2004


and if you want to see an end to nazi references, reign in your storm troopers. we tire of them already.

THREE MORE WEEKS!
posted by quonsar at 9:15 PM on October 22, 2004


know the answer to that: when they're afraid they're going to lose,

Being afraid of losing is why ANY political party encourages votes in their favor (or discourages illegal votes in their opponents' favor). They want to win. They don't want to get cheated. Democrats don't want to get cheated either, which is why they've already assembled a battery of lawyers for a pre-emptive conspiracy complaint. Unlike Gore, though, I doubt Kerry will try to sue his way into the White House.

Are they paying you to be an apologist for this shit?

I've never voted for them, so why would I apologize for them? I'm making a point for the sake of conversation because your endless blinded-by-partisanship responses rub me the wrong way, I'm afraid. Comparing either party to Nazis is ridiculous and so are pre-emptive charges of disenfranchisement. Your comments toward anyone who disagrees with you ("you guys" this and that, re: Kwantsar) assumes that everyone else must be a Republican, which is equally ridiculous.

and if you want to see an end to nazi references, reign in your storm troopers. we tire of them already.

I didn't vote for these "storm troopers", Captain Hyperbole. You're no better than amberglow. "With us or against us" indeed.
posted by dhoyt at 9:22 PM on October 22, 2004


Well, amberglow, not only have you not really answered my question, but you've also mistaken me for a Republican.

Prattle on, kind sir, like a less-smart Miguel.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:25 PM on October 22, 2004


We have election officials for a reason, and courts too.

And we saw how well that worked in 2000. I don't think there's anything wrong with Dems or the GOP putting people in polling places to keep each other accountable. If it discourages one side or the other from pulling out dirty tricks, then it's a good thing. Trust, but verify.
posted by marcusb at 9:25 PM on October 22, 2004


you have made your little disenfranchisement speech eight billion times

Is this the same level of reality as the WMD in Iraq?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:32 PM on October 22, 2004


Did you read the NYT article, dhoyt? They stated that's why they're going to be there--it's no pre-emptive charge--it's their goal.

I don't think i'm the one that's blinded. Defending this shit shows that. Your non-partisanness is invisible, if it exists at all.

I'm for voting--for everyone, and if the Republican gets more votes, they win. I live in a place with a Republican Mayor and Governor, and they all got in by getting the majority of the vote--they didn't need shit like this.

Democrats learned very well in 2000 what happens when the Republicans rush to court. They're prepared this time. I'd bet the legal team is just as big, if not bigger on the GOP side anyway--they've proved they have no interest in either allowing or counting, all votes.

and Kwantsar, just show me Democrats doing stuff like this in Red districts. I'll wait. That's the answer to your question.
posted by amberglow at 9:33 PM on October 22, 2004


Since when is it the GOP's responsibility to ascertain if someone is eligible to vote or to stop people from voting?

If people vote who are not supposed to be voting, that has to be stopped, and I don't much care whether it's an elephant or a donkey what does it, or whether they do it at all the places or just where they think it'll do them the most good. The Democrats will do exactly the same thing, assuming they're as smart as they seem to think they are, and the two parties will thereby keep each other honest.

Every party with a candidate in an election has the right to monitor the system to guard against fraud. It is entirely up to the parties to pick their battles. The response here should not be to condemn the Republicans, but to make sure the Democrats are out in force as well.
posted by kindall at 9:40 PM on October 22, 2004


If people prevent people who are allowed to vote from voting they must be stopped. It really only cuts this way, kindall, because there has not been a massive movement to promote overvoting, but there has been a humongous movement to prevent people from voting. See, that's a big difference. One side is concerned about people voting, and the other about people not voting.

Look to the past to see who has been most concerned about overvoting in this country.

Hint: it's not been people who support democracy and equality.
posted by goneill at 9:46 PM on October 22, 2004


and Kwantsar, just show me Democrats doing stuff like this in Red districts. I'll wait. That's the answer to your question.

If I were to ask you whether it was raining, and you were to reply "shovel, revolver, aspartame", would that be an "answer"?
posted by Kwantsar at 9:47 PM on October 22, 2004


And we have people whose job that is, kindall. We elected some of them, and others are appointed. We pay them. It's built into the system already. If votes need to be challenged, they will be. Poll workers have a responsibility to check eligibility at the polls, and they do so, for every single person voting.

Kwantsar, are you an imbecile? You asked, Do you really think, amberglow, that democrats would be "enfranchising" all these people if these people were going to vote Republican?
In many districts in this country, the vast majority DO vote Republican (especially if the district has been redistricted by the GOP), yet Democrats don't station poll watchers in those districts at all. You have to prove they do since you're the one making the ridiculous and unfounded assertion, based on nothing.
posted by amberglow at 9:51 PM on October 22, 2004


Oh, for fuck's sake. You still haven't answered the question, you haven't admitted that maybe Kwantsar isn't a Republican, and now you're calling me an imbecile?

One more time: Do you really think, amberglow, that democrats would be "enfranchising" all these people if these people were going to vote Republican?

Choose one:

A. Yes
B. No
C. I don't know

You have to prove they do since you're the one making the ridiculous and unfounded assertion, based on nothing.


What have I asserted?
posted by Kwantsar at 9:58 PM on October 22, 2004


"Party officials say their effort is necessary to guard against fraud arising from aggressive moves by the Democrats to register tens of thousands of new voters in Ohio, seen as one of the most pivotal battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 elections."

Wow. This is terrible. Getting more people to vote!
posted by xammerboy at 9:59 PM on October 22, 2004


The funniest sentence in that story, btw: Both parties have waged huge campaigns in the battleground states to register millions of new voters, and the developments in Ohio provided an early glimpse of how those efforts may play out on Election Day.
Here's a question: If the Republicans had been at all successful in their campaign to register new voters, would they be doing this?

No. Kwantsar. No. No. Is that clear enough for you to understand? I'm saying no. You obviously think differently, or wouldn't have asked that question. So you prove it.
posted by amberglow at 10:01 PM on October 22, 2004


Kwantsar,

You have asserted that each party acts only in its own interest. Sorry pal, we do believe that the more people that voe the better.
posted by xammerboy at 10:02 PM on October 22, 2004


It's actually better for the country and for all of us, let alone specific parties.
posted by amberglow at 10:09 PM on October 22, 2004


Every party with a candidate in an election has the right to monitor the system to guard against fraud. It is entirely up to the parties to pick their battles. The response here should not be to condemn the Republicans, but to make sure the Democrats are out in force as well.

If one can't be an American (a citizen) as much as a Democrat or a Republican during an election, there aren't enough monitors in the world.
posted by larry_darrell at 10:09 PM on October 22, 2004


"Take your revolver and mind the shovel. It's raining aspartame out there."
posted by quonsar at 10:15 PM on October 22, 2004


Thank you for finally answering my question. I am glad to know that the Democrats will be running shuttles from the gun clubs, trailer parks, pig roasts, and military installations to the polling stations, because it's vitally important to them to have as many voters as possible.

Also, when you wrote that "In many districts in this country, the vast majority DO vote Republican (especially if the district has been redistricted by the GOP)," did you make a typographical error? Because the goal of most modern redistricting is to create pockets that vote overwhelmingly for your opposition, leaving moderate (and defensible) majorities in a majority of districts. Unless, of course, you think the GOP is so inept that it can't even gerrymander in its own best interest.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:19 PM on October 22, 2004


no, that's not true, Kwantsar: ... But the results of that altercation merely replicated what happened, after the 2000 census, in several other states where Republicans controlled the governorship and the legislature. Even in states where voters were evenly divided, the Republicans used their advantage in the state capitals to transform their congressional delegations. In Florida, the paradigmatically deadlocked state, the new district lines sent eighteen Republicans and seven Democrats to the House. In the Gore state of Michigan, which lost a seat in redistricting, the delegation went from 9-7 in favor of the Democrats to 9-6 in favor of the Republicans—even though Democratic congressional candidates received thirty-five thousand more votes than their Republican opponents in 2002. (The Michigan plan was approved on September 11, 2001, so it received little publicity.) Pennsylvania, which also went to Gore, had one of the most ruthless Republican gerrymanders, and it is the one being challenged before the Supreme Court.

After 2000, Pennsylvania lost two seats in Congress, and its legislature had to establish new district lines. Republican legislative leaders there engaged in no subterfuge; they candidly admitted that they intended to draw the lines to favor their party as much as possible. In the midst of the battle over the Pennsylvania plan, DeLay and Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House, sent a letter to the Pennsylvania legislators, saying, “We wish to encourage you in these efforts, as they play a crucial role in maintaining a Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives.” ...

posted by amberglow at 10:25 PM on October 22, 2004


There's a vast difference, Kwantsar, between trying to get out the vote for your party and trying to stop voters for the other party from exercising their right. Do you really not recognize that?
posted by muckster at 10:27 PM on October 22, 2004


This is such crap. God, what an unreadable thread. Why even bother posting this when you know the spin committee is going to coming out of its hole to spout endless amounts of blah-blah that you can see straight through - that you can tell aren't even close to heartfelt.
posted by raysmj at 10:29 PM on October 22, 2004


This did degenerate fairly quickly. However... this is rather troubling, just for the precedent this sets. Can you imagine how turned off voters will be in the future when they get hassled about whether or not they should actually be there?

The only people who will vote will be..., oh, I get it.

Sheep go bahhhh.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:46 PM on October 22, 2004


Prattle on, kind sir, like a less-smart Miguel.

Hey, now that you mention it, I haven't seen Miguel around lately. Hmmm...I wonder where he is.


Damn it, I fell in the hole and landed in aspartame. If only I'd brought my revolver.
posted by dejah420 at 10:48 PM on October 22, 2004


Encouraging or intimidating people not to vote is ANAMERICAN, full stop. If either side does it, it's tantamount to treason.
posted by interrobang at 11:21 PM on October 22, 2004


Uh, U-
posted by interrobang at 11:22 PM on October 22, 2004


I don't know, it might be fun to mess with the first time voters, make them duck crawl past a whole bunch of drunk frat boys with paddles to "initiate" them into Democracy. Tell them its all part of the law, if they'd only read the fine print they would have seen it and known that they should have stayed home, taken some boner pills and watched Dr. Phil.

What would be disenfranchising about that?

Amberglow, you were kidding about the brownshirts and armbands though, right? Or should I not have laughed?

Anyone wishing to not allow everyone who can vote, to vote, is impeding the democratic process and should probably be arrested, yep, much as interrobang just noted.
posted by fenriq at 11:27 PM on October 22, 2004


fenriq and I are friends again!
posted by interrobang at 11:37 PM on October 22, 2004


Sounds like Bush's buddies back in Dallas are already slithering out from underneath the rocks!




ELEPHANT STOMP

With the Lone Star State a lock for George W., Dallas GOP movers and shakers are heading next week to the two big battleground states, Florida and Ohio. At least 40 Park Cities/North Dallas Republicans (mostly high profile doctors, lawyers, real estate brokers) are headed to Cincinnati to help with a door-to-door voting push, while a cadre of twelve prominent attorneys are on their way to Miami to help monitor election returns. Rumors of dirty politics already abound in Florida, and according to one Dallas lawyer, "If there isn't a clear winner—I mean a very clear winner—attorneys for the losing side will be standing by to file a tidal wave of lawsuits and keep this election in the courts for months."
posted by gjjohnson at 11:39 PM on October 22, 2004


Unlike Gore, though, I doubt Kerry will try to sue his way into the White House.

Ah, yes, the rewriting of history. It was Bush who filed all of the lawsuits to prevent the recounts, not Gore.
posted by JackFlash at 11:41 PM on October 22, 2004


In principle, obviously no one wants people voting who aren't eligible to vote. We all agree on that. However, the GOP strategy here seems to be to challenge as many first-time voters as humanly possible in the hopes that some of the charges stick. Also, in the event of a close victory for Kerry in Ohio, it seems they want to come up with a basis for challenging the legitimacy of the election. This is just a scattershot approach.
posted by deanc at 11:46 PM on October 22, 2004


This wouldn't bother me so much if the ridiculous paper-thickness registration thing hadn't happened -- everything I'd heard about messing with elections just seemed like partisan shading up until then, but it was verifiable with a call to Blackwell's office and covered pretty well in the Ohio papers. And there was no convincing rationale for it...

What deanc said rings true. Everybody knows how tight this race is. Everybody knows how even the appearance of actual authority can disuade some folks. Disuade 500 votes and that may mean the election.

But speaking of authority -- how is this legal? Can I stand outside my local polling place and challenge anyone about their registration status?
posted by weston at 12:19 AM on October 23, 2004


We have people whose job that is, kindall. We elected some of them, and others are appointed. We pay them. It's built into the system already.

Yeah, I forgot -- we can trust our elected and appointed officials implicitly, can't we? I guess there's no problem after all. After all, there's no chance any of those people might be partisan, not even in this, the most polarizing election of the twenty-first century. (Okay, okay, it's the most polarizing election of the twenty-first century by definition, because it's the only election of the twenty-first century so far. But I have a feeling it'll be a tough one to top.)

If people prevent people who are allowed to vote from voting they must be stopped. It really only cuts this way, kindall, because there has not been a massive movement to promote overvoting, but there has been a humongous movement to prevent people from voting. See, that's a big difference. One side is concerned about people voting, and the other about people not voting.

Well, okay. So? Are you saying that it's bad to stop people from voting who are not allowed to vote, if you only stop some of them? Are you suggesting a political party should not be partisan? Or what? Are you saying that one strategy is somehow morally inferior to the other? You can't be saying that, because it's patently ridiculous, and the level of discourse is reputed to be uniformly high on MetaFilter.

I know some of you don't like it, but Republicans are Americans too, and they have as much of a right to monitor elections as anyone,. If they choose to focus on possible overvoting by Democrats, well, at least we'll know that the Democrats aren't overvoting, won't we? (Sure, the GOP is wasting its time. Democrats are 100% honest. Snicker.)

There's no real risk here. Not even Republicans (ba-dum-de-DUM! God Inside®!) can stop someone from voting who is eligible and registered to vote. Now if there's some other hanky-panky, e.g. intimidation or tampering with voter registration records, then you've got something to complain about. Actually, I've seen some worrying reports already surfacing in that vein, although since they were posted here, I have no idea how much credence to actually give them. But I'm sure these situations will be closely monitored by both parties now that attention has been drawn to them. Which is how it should be. Of course, I suppose this is somewhat of the same sort of thing -- but really, it's so over the top, it's Chicken Little. No, the sky is not falling.

Again, if the Democrats are worried about what the Republicans are doing, they should send some people out to keep a donkey-eye on them. Educating legitimate voters about what to do if their eligibility is challenged is also a good idea -- although it's kind of late to start that, perhaps they could hand out pamphlets at polling places. (Since this information is non-partisan, I don't think it would be banned as electioneering.)
posted by kindall at 12:21 AM on October 23, 2004


Yeah, go ahead and trust the Ohio GOP: 5 GOP staffers indicted S. Dakota including 2 working in Ohio
posted by skallas at 12:21 AM on October 23, 2004


And has anyone asked Hugh Hewitt what he thinks of these goings on in Ohio?
posted by weston at 12:22 AM on October 23, 2004


Educating legitimate voters about what to do if their eligibility is challenged is also a good idea

Best point in this whole thread.
posted by weston at 12:28 AM on October 23, 2004


The GOP is all about fairness, citizen!
Substitute teacher Adam Banse wanted a summer job with flexible hours, so he signed up to knock on doors in suburban Minneapolis and register people to vote.

He quit after two hours. "They said if you bring back a bunch of Democratic cards, you'll be fired," Banse contends. "At that point, I said, `Whoa. Something's wrong here.'"
Ohio seniors targetted in "vote in the wrong place" campaign.

It looks like theyre going to try to turn every swing state into Florida 2000. Right now the GOP is projected to lose almost every swing state, but an Ohio or Florida win might equal a Bush win. No wonder they are resorting to illegal dirty tricks.
posted by skallas at 12:56 AM on October 23, 2004


Making sure people are eligible to vote is a great idea. Doing it with any form of a partisan stance is not.

It should be the job of a non partisan group to verify such things. Both sides are spinning this out of control, and I think there's going to be a few republican felons from out of state that will get caught in the process. I think these political discussions are seriously touchy right now Amberglow, and I think you should know better than to equate Nazism with some possible assholes, even though I thought it was all in good form.
posted by Keyser Soze at 12:59 AM on October 23, 2004


Another goal of these challenges is to slow down the voting process, thus creating long lines.

And in a district your opponent is expected to carry by a large margin every person at the end of the line who looks at their watch, and then leaves because they have to pick up the kids is a likely vote for your opponent not cast.

They aren't trying to prevent illegal votes, they are trying to delay everyone casting legal votes in specific districts.
posted by dglynn at 1:11 AM on October 23, 2004


Metafilter: shovel, revolver, aspartame
posted by Coda at 1:32 AM on October 23, 2004


There's no real risk here. Not even Republicans (ba-dum-de-DUM! God Inside®!) can stop someone from voting who is eligible and registered to vote.

That is such bullshit. Go do a search on the Florida 2000 election to learn all of the ways that voters can be denied their legal right to vote. Hint: illegal!

Kwantsar, whether or not you vote Republican is irrelevant. From all of the posts of yours I've bothered to read you are a highly conservative knee-jerk reactionary (and "coincidental" defender of all things Bush). And since you are making comparisons, you come off as a dumb Steve@Linwood or a retarded MidasMulligan.

Yes, you are the "neutral" poster who once defended that the good people at Abu Ghraib should be permitted to "watch over" Iraqi children, because their parent's were obviously too irresponsible to have custody over their children since they had not miraculously found a way to teletransport their children out of the war zone (the entire country), therefore, in your astute analysis, the guards at the Prison were more suitable to take care of the children. Oh, but you added as an afterthought, first they should ban torture at the prison.

This truly magnificent argument was in response to evidence that the good people at Abu Ghraib were in fact torturing Iraqi children. It was really impressive cognitive dissonance, I invite you all to read the thread. Don't miss the part where Kwantsar prattles on for some unknown reason how his great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. Truly a great thinker and a swell guy.
posted by sic at 2:20 AM on October 23, 2004


The thing is if there is any question about the vote, it's not up to either party to monitor it, but rather an independant third party. I think we should have taken up the offer to have international monitoring of our elections. I hope I get stopped at the polls so I can tell someone to shove it up their ass. Hell, I might even resort to violence to ensure my right to vote.
posted by Eekacat at 2:26 AM on October 23, 2004


That's it, I officially give up on this country. 10 days before the election and we're all still dancing the "they're doing 'x' so we're going to do 'y'" shuffle. Not like I expected anything different, but, meh. I feel ill.
posted by snarkywench at 2:59 AM on October 23, 2004


I would like to salute
the ashes of American flags.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:12 AM on October 23, 2004


My bet is that the election isn't even close -- that Kerry wins by a good 10-15 points or so. And that the Republicans will then point to the results and say, "See, it was supposed to be close! What more proof of voter fraud on the part of the Dems do you need?"

I call it Sadduction. Like deduction.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:15 AM on October 23, 2004


...but without the evidence.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:15 AM on October 23, 2004


"As you've made your little disenfranchisement speech eight billion fucking times" - some people don't get it. Kwantsar (you evenhanded non-partisan, you) - they just refuse to keep shouting about a massive Republican effort to sabatoge the election. Silly them, they should just accept it, get depressed, go home, and watch TV.

"there's a divide between those who value humanity and those who value money. it's really that simple." - quonsar, yes there's that. And then there's the new "Christian" Coalition's moral relativism - intertwined, yes, but not quite the same.

"If people vote who are not supposed to be voting, that has to be stopped" (Kindall) - Sure, but I don't see state resources in Republican controlled states being used to control voting impropriety in anything even remotely resembling an evenhanded way and - in fact - many GOP controlled state agencies appear to be involved in discouraging and suppressing Democratic voter registrations, turnout, and ability to vote :

By restricting the number of ballots printed, limiting the number of polling places or abitrarily moving polling places.....and a thousand other sleazy methods.

Vote Fraud Clearinghouse
posted by troutfishing at 3:22 AM on October 23, 2004


Wow! Nobbling Unlimited is up 83 points just in the last week! Chicken Little, a prominent local Democrat (and one of Nobbling's most vocal critics), is being interviewed in front of Nobbling's headquarters. He seems tired. Suddenly, he stiffens, turns to the camera and smiles sadly, raises his little feathered thumbs in a prideful gesture of triumphant vindication, turns away from the camera and slowly and deliberately lifts his brimming eyes upward to welcome the falling sky.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:39 AM on October 23, 2004


The next best thing to Trackback.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:55 AM on October 23, 2004


I don't have time to read this whole thread, but as a former poll judge (can't do it this time cause hubby's on the ballot) I can tell you that any voter is allowed to challenge any other voter if they believe that voter is not eligible to cast a ballot. We have a system in place for challenges. We also have a system in place for poll observers.

The final arbiter of whether or not someone's vote counts will be that county's Board of Elections, as always.

So unclench, people.
posted by konolia at 4:39 AM on October 23, 2004


I feel bad. I had wrongly assumed that Kwantsar was a Republican as well. Now I realize he's just not that bright. My apologies, Kwantsar.
posted by hank_14 at 5:23 AM on October 23, 2004


I would encourage all Democratic voters to go to the polls dressed head to toe in Bush Cheney 04 attire. That way you won't look suspiciously like a felon trying to vote in another county.

Just confuse the bastards.
posted by sic at 5:44 AM on October 23, 2004


Ah, yes, the rewriting of history. It was Bush who filed all of the lawsuits to prevent the recounts, not Gore.

Ah, yes, the pretending to accuse people of rewriting history. Bush filed the first lawsuit, made pre-emptive declarations of victory, and filed the suit that stopped votes from being counted, complete with legal team members related to the very justices making the ruling. But nice try.

sic: I guess you're joking, but for the people who don't know, it's illegal at least where I used to live to wear anything to a voting booth (buttons, signs, etc.) or carry literature to distribute to others that endorses a candidate.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:42 AM on October 23, 2004


Among other things, he said, the recruits will be taught how to challenge mentally disabled voters who are assisted by anyone other than their legal guardians.

I've been the election judge at my precinct before, and I just don't believe any state's process is so corrupted that there could be a significant number of legitimately challengeable voters. Even the Republican organizer interviewed admits this, claiming, "99.9 percent will fly by." So 3,600 Republican challengers in urban Democratic neighborhoods are all there to protect against a 1-in-1000 taint? That's disingenuous on its face.
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:00 AM on October 23, 2004


I'll tell you what, if someone that is not an election official tries to even *talk* to me at the polls I think that I'll lean in close. Nod my head, lick my index finger and give them a wet willy. Farting would also be a good tactic.

These crooks are either going to win or lose this one. Election day should be a day where every politican sits in their hotel suites watching tv. The whole idea of having involvement at the POLLING places is absurdly counter to the attempt we are making to have the act of voting be fair and accurate.
posted by n9 at 7:04 AM on October 23, 2004


Yes, of course it's disingenous. The goal is to intimidate people before they get to the polls. If even 5% of people are discouraged from voting it could tip the election.

XYZ: yes I am joking, people shouldn't go to the polls dressed in Bush Cheney gear, as that is illegal, they should go heavily armed and blow any motherfucker away who tries to prevent them from voting. To hell with it, start the civil war on Nov. 2, it's coming any way.
posted by sic at 7:11 AM on October 23, 2004


I actually suspect all the ballot security efforts will be largely unnecessary, but not for the reason suggested above (a Kerry landslide). Rather, a shockingly high percentage of the new registrants won't vote, in part because many don't exist, and many more were (too put it mildly) not exactly of the civic-responsibility inclination.

The biggest "theft" in this election will prove to have been of the cold hard cash which enterprising street guys took out of the hands of the donors to the Democrat 527s...
posted by MattD at 8:13 AM on October 23, 2004


1. Go to "urban" polling stations.
2. Challenge so many voters that queues get held up indefinitely
3. Have elderly potential voters pass out while waiting and have to be carried off, or hold up queues for so long that many who come to the station cannot cast their vote before polls close. In other words, PROFIT.
posted by clevershark at 8:22 AM on October 23, 2004


As you've made your little disenfranchisement speech eight billion fucking times

Evidently there are people who think that heavy-handed disenfranchisement efforts normal. Or is it that Kwantsar finds our lack of faith... disturbing?
posted by clevershark at 8:26 AM on October 23, 2004


clevershark's semi-joking example is actually true. In many states and precincts in 2000, voters were outraged over the delays and long lines for polling. In some states the government even held emergency debates over extending poll closing times to accomodate people.

I wouldn't find it hard to believe that "poll watchers" in precincts with heavy, unexpected turnouts would suddenly decide to start running the clock. Unfortunately it's not like the grocery store- you don't get to stay as long as you're in the building. As far as I know, at 8:00 or 9:00 or whatever, those machines are switched off.

If you're a 9-to-5er, check your local laws. I believe federal law mandates that a full-time employee is legally guaranteed two hours off on a day of a federal election if they do not have a large enough window of time before or after work to vote.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:28 AM on October 23, 2004


My bad. It's state law. At least 20 states require companies to give time off to vote.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:30 AM on October 23, 2004


If one can't be an American (a citizen) as much as a Democrat or a Republican during an election, there aren't enough monitors in the world.

Indeed. And what this country needs more than anything else right now is a ton of treason convictions to remind people of their responsibilities and the consequences of not living up to them. Accountability has disappeared in the minds of the public (not to mention the politicians, who had a tenuous grasp on the concept to begin with). A bipartisan Committee for Identifying and Hanging Traitors is just what the doctor ordered.
posted by rushmc at 8:30 AM on October 23, 2004


I can tell you that any voter is allowed to challenge any other voter if they believe that voter is not eligible to cast a ballot.

Which makes me wonder why the GOP is sending so many people who are presumably not voters (at that polling place, at least) for the express purpose of challenging voters.
posted by Vidiot at 8:34 AM on October 23, 2004


If people vote who are not supposed to be voting, that has to be stopped

Landed gentry white men only need apply.

Where could such ideas be coming from? Wasn't it a rePublican who voted her poodle by absentee in 2000? But, of course, that's different, since it was a right wing controlled district. Wasn't it the rePublicans who allowed "illegal" military ballots in Florida to be counted in 2000? Did wealthy Dems hire thugs to "prevent" that?

Dhoyt, you are such a damned blinded partisan hypocrite. And are you paid well to provide rapid response here at MeFi?

Democracy means nothing to well paid mercenary thugs out to seize power by whatever means necessary.
posted by nofundy at 8:37 AM on October 23, 2004


From the article:

The Republican challenges in Ohio have already begun. Yesterday, party officials submitted a list of about 35,000 registered voters whose mailing addresses, the Republicans said, were questionable. After registering, they said, each of the voters was mailed a notice, and in each case the notice was returned to election officials as undeliverable.

IN EACH CASE!

So, ALL of the 35,000 suspect ballots were returned by the USPS. I'm not a statistician by trade, but I know "each" is just about as possible as Kim Jong Il getting 100% of all votes cast. Less, possible, in fact.

This is a really shitty election.
posted by kozad at 8:49 AM on October 23, 2004


America is so entertaining.

Of course it's a post-modern horror story, but entertainment none the less.
posted by Blue Stone at 8:57 AM on October 23, 2004


This whole election is going to be a problem - there are serious issues with these voter registration drives. I am usually all for capitalism but when you pay untrained peopel to collect voter registrations without serious verification there will be fraud. When you selectively work on registering people for the purpose of supporting one candidate it will get even worse.

Clearly the entire process of registration needs to be overhauled. Positive ID, proof of citizenship and eligibility... verification. The whole works.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:01 AM on October 23, 2004


you come off as a dumb Steve@Linwood

-1, redundant.

1. Go to "urban" polling stations.
2. Challenge so many voters that queues get held up indefinitely
3. Have elderly potential voters pass out while waiting and have to be carried off, or hold up queues for so long that many who come to the station cannot cast their vote before polls close.


0. Tell Republicans to get their asses down to the polling stations in the AM, to avoid the lines.


Bottom line, guys, is that the US election system is thoroughly fubared, from end to end to end.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 AM on October 23, 2004


You would think in a National election we would have National standards as to who can vote. And you would be wrong.

The right to vote after being convicted of a felony varies from state to state. In 13 states a felony offense can result in the loss of voting rights even after the sentence has been completed, and often for life.

Here, in North Carolina, a convicted felon is allowed to vote after completeing the entire sentence, including parole. In Ohio, you may vote while on probation, parole, judicial release, or when you have been released on a conditional pardon or under a post-release control sanction. In order to vote, all you need to do is register.

(For a state by state listing of voting rights check here.)

I can only imagine how confusing this must be to the average voter, especially someone who moves around a lot. I would love to see a poll questioning people from all over the nation: Do you think convicted felons can vote? I am guessing very few people would know the answer.

So you get Joe Aspartame who was convicted of felony shovel possession in Nevada. After serving his sentence he moves to Revolver, Ohio. Ten years later a Democrat comes to his house and assures him that despite his past, he can vote in the upcoming election. Later, he is standing in line to vote and someone walks up to him and asks, "Do you have a felony record?" A little shaky on the whole subject of his rights, Joe just makes a u-turn and leaves.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:09 AM on October 23, 2004


Slo Gravy, it's not really a national election, its 50 separate state elections. The State government runs it and the State Parliament sets up the rules. Which explains why in most states there are winner-take-all elections while two states Montana and Main (I believe) actually have a proportional distribution of electoral college votes. It also explains how Jeb Bush could rig the 2000 Fla election with different types of ballots and different controls in the varying districts of "his" state.
posted by sic at 9:30 AM on October 23, 2004


the Freepers are flying in for this from all over, and they're of course known for their calm, reasoned approach--NOT

This smells like what happened with the hired GOP mob stopping the recounts in Florida. And if they're instructed to only stop Black men or foreign-looking people, there will be big big trouble. Any psycho can go sign up for this little "fraud prevention effort"
posted by amberglow at 9:31 AM on October 23, 2004


Students Have Parties Switched by Bogus Petitions
By Dennis B. Roddy - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday 22 October 2004

Registration changed to Republican without consent

Scores of college students in Pennsylvania and Oregon have had their voting registrations switched by teams of canvassers circulating bogus petitions and, in some cases, partially concealed voter registration forms students were requested to sign.

The canvassers have visited campuses asking students to sign petitions advocating lower auto insurance rates, medical marijuana or stricter rape laws, according to elections officials.

After signing their names, the students were pressured into registering with the Republican Party by being told that their signatures otherwise would be invalid, or they were asked to fill out the signature and address portions of blank voter registration forms as proof of citizenship. In multiple instances, students already registered to vote have had their registrations changed without their consent, elections officials said yesterday.

Petition canvassers in Pennsylvania apparently did not identify themselves, although one told a University of Pittsburgh student that he was being paid by the Republican Party. ....."
posted by troutfishing at 9:40 AM on October 23, 2004


I wish you guys would lay off of Kwantsar, puberty is hard and he's actually quite bright for his age.
posted by Skygazer at 9:52 AM on October 23, 2004


A: Registration should be automatic, like, you get sent a registration card on your 18th birthday.

B: Voting should be cumpulsory.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:02 AM on October 23, 2004


What: Be an official Poll Observer for the Hamilton County Republican Party. Poll observers are official representatives of the Party that register prior to the election with the Board of Elections to serve as a poll observer pursuant to Ohio law. The poll observer will receive training by the campaign and it’s lawyers so as to have the skills and tools necessary to effectively observe the election and to help ensure a fair election. The Hamilton County Republican Party will complete any necessary documentation for volunteers to act as observers.

Volunteers will not be wearing any campaign paraphernalia and will not be “campaigning” for any candidate. Instead, the volunteer will be an official representative inside the polling location to ensure a fair elections process.


When: November 2, 2004, Election Day, from 6:00 a.m. until ballots leave the polls on election day (after 7:30 p.m.). This promises to be a long day, but volunteers will help by delivering food and beverages to the observers.

There will be a mandatory training session, downtown, on Sunday, October 31, 2004 in the afternoon (2 pm – 4 pm). THE TRAINING WILL END IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR VOLUNTEERS TO ENJOY HALLOWEEN.

The deadline for recruiting poll observers and getting them to the Board of Elections is October 19, 2004.

Where: A polling location in Hamilton County that is assigned to you by the campaign. Poll observers will be sent to specifically targeted polling locations in the County. Volunteers are being asked to go to the polling location assigned by the campaign which may be anywhere in the County. Volunteers will not be working their own polling place, but will be assigned a polling location where an observer is needed.

Why: The election in Ohio and across the nation promises to be very close. As an official representative of the party, you will act as the eyes and ears of the party at the polling location. THIS IS A CRITICAL PART OF THE CAMPAIGN AND IS A KEY TO ASSURING A FAIR ELECTION FOR THE ALL REPUBLICANS.

Who: The party is looking for articulate, dedicated Republicans who can serve as official representatives of the party and effectively represent the interests of the party in the polling locations. We are targeting professionals and party loyalists. A CELL PHONE WILL BE NECESSARY AT THE POLLING PLACE.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:39 AM on October 23, 2004


THIS IS A CRITICAL PART OF THE CAMPAIGN AND IS A KEY TO ASSURING A FAIR ELECTION FOR THE ALL REPUBLICANS.

Funny how they don't say a fair election for all Americans, no? There's no evidence anywhere of anything being done to stop Republicans from voting.
posted by amberglow at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2004


I got an almost identical email from the other guys. :::shrug:::
posted by rushmc at 11:30 AM on October 23, 2004


They give themselves away all the time Amberglow.

Perhaps that nuisance The Bill of Rights can be tweaked slightly so that it only applies to Democrats (and others) on Even or Odd numbered days.

It could be prefaced with the following nugget: All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others
posted by Skygazer at 11:42 AM on October 23, 2004


Speaking of pigs, guess what our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court did in Arizona when he was younger? The thug at an Ohio poll today may be a Supreme Court Justice tomorrow?

In 1964, Rehnquist fought a Phoenix, AZ, ruling that would permit African-Americans to enter public stores. During the 1960s, he took part in a group that tried to challenge the voting rights of minorities, especially Hispanics. He denied his involvement before a Senate committee. However, eyewitnesses testified they saw Rehnquist confront voters to challenge their right to vote.
posted by amberglow at 11:47 AM on October 23, 2004


If I am not mistaken, the law in most places is that if you are in line at the closing time of polls, then you get to vote, no matter how long it takes.

It's just less likely that people will vote if it turns out that getting there at 6 PM wil result in you casting a ballot at 8 PM.

The 35,000 apparently non-existent registrants challenged already is completely legitimate, although it does seem more like a scam against groups paying people to register voters, rather than an attempt to allow illegitimate votes into the system.

The "99.9% of voters will just sail through" is an interesting admission. If challenges are mustered to some percentage of voters, the voting proocess will be slowed some amount, as the challenge is either confirmed or refuted. The percentage challenged would be a pretty good indication as to whether the challenger is attempting ensure legitimacy, or merely attempting to make voting more time-consuming in that polling place.
posted by dglynn at 12:02 PM on October 23, 2004


Re: the e-mail asking Republicans to volunteer as poll observers...I'm not sure if this is the case in this particular jurisdiction, but many polling places require that there be at least, say, two observers from each political party there. This may not be nefarious at all.
posted by Vidiot at 10:54 AM on October 24, 2004


GOP drops voter challenges-5,000 of 35,000 discovered with mistakes--...Republicans will not resubmit the challenges, Mauk said, but they are encouraging the Board of Elections to internally review questionable registrations.
And Republicans have another shot at blocking voters they think ineligible, noted Chip Gerhardt, the county GOP official who delivered the challenges to the Board of Elections on Friday.
"There is still an option to observe and challenge on Election Day," he said.
County Republicans also submitted a list Friday of hundreds of people they intend to place in polling places as challengers on Election Day.
Democrats also named hundreds of challengers Friday but said that was only to keep an eye on Republicans, not to challenge voters.

posted by amberglow at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2004


"There is still an option to observe and challenge on Election Day," he said.

Wow. Just...wow.
posted by Vidiot at 12:50 PM on October 24, 2004


I did early voting and I got challenged. When I walked in, someone not wearing a polling place name badge walked over to an election judge. While a poll worker was checking my voter ID against the list, I could see a conversation, and the unidentified person pointed at me during it. (I'm guessing that the black ensemble and the Fuck the New World Order t-shirt had something to do with me being challenged.) Before I was given clearance to vote, the election judge demanded to see my state ID, even though the voter ID matched the info the log rolls, had my signature, and was stamped from the 2 previous elections since I got the most recent card, one local and the primary.

The challenge held me up by a few moments...but multiplied by every possible non-republican, it could slow down the polls a lot. Not too surprising, the challenger wouldn't reveal his name, his affiliation, or what right he had to challenge me.

Later, during that same trip to the polls, I got to meet all kinds of local politicians and the police chief as I led a little mini-revolt against the black boxes. Me and my army of cranky little old people. ;) All in all, even though there was no line in front of me, it still took me almost an hour to get out of the polling place...and I was forced to use one of the "why bother voting" boxes, because they said that once I'd been signed in as voting, that I couldn't change my mind and wait until the 2nd, where they will be using paper ballots.
posted by dejah420 at 2:44 PM on October 24, 2004


This isn't an election: it is a farce. A horrible, destructive farce.

I'm appalled that Joe Fuckyouverymuchly can challenge any and all voters. Someone walked up to me during an election to question whether I should be voting, and I'd probably go completely snakeshit! It'd be one of those moments I'm eversoglad that handguns aren't legal in Canada.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:40 PM on October 24, 2004


NYT editorial on this: It is likely that some voters will be challenged next week not because they appear to be ineligible, but because partisan challengers think that they will vote for the other side. There is a long history of challengers' targeting minority precincts and minority voters. It is troubling that in Ohio this year, the Republicans appear to be focusing much of their effort on Cleveland, Dayton and other cities with large African-American and Latino populations.

One of the gravest dangers is that partisan teams will challenge many, if not all, voters in selected precincts, with the goal of slowing voting to a standstill.
In Ohio, every challenge will require a deliberation over whether the person in question should be allowed to vote. In presidential elections, lines in urban polling places are often hours long under normal conditions. If the challengers can add 10 minutes per voter, waiting times may become so long that thousands of voters will simply give up.

posted by amberglow at 5:32 AM on October 26, 2004


Two federal judges deny voter challenges at polls: Two federal judges on Monday barred political party representatives from challenging voters at polling places throughout Ohio. State Republicans planned to appeal.

An order by U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott of Cincinnati found that the application of Ohio's statute allowing challengers at polling places was unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge John Adams of Akron said poll workers are the ones to determine if voters are eligible.

"In light of these extraordinary circumstances, and the contentious nature of the imminent election, the court cannot and must not turn a blind eye to the substantial likelihood that significant harm will result not only to voters, but also to the voting process itself, if appointed challengers are permitted at the polls," Adams said.


posted by amberglow at 10:20 AM on November 1, 2004


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